Seas Discovered on Titan

TitanPlanetary scientists had reported lakes around Titan’s southern poles, but now it looks like the northern hemisphere has liquid on the surface as well. Of course, we’re not talking about water, that would be frozen solid. These are seas filled with liquid methane or ethane.

The seas were turned up by Cassini’s radar instrument during a recent flyby past Titan’s north pole. The largest of these features measures about 100,000 square kilometres (39,000 square miles). That’s a surface area larger than Lake Superior here on Earth.

Since Cassini used its radar instruments to image the seas, scientists aren’t completely positive that’s what they’re looking at. In rader, liquids appear as dark patches, indicating smooth surfaces. Another flyby is planned for May, where Cassini will fly directly over these dark patches and get a better look.

Original Source: NASA/JPL News Release